Published: 23rd April 2020
SSN College of Engineering develops 3D printable face shields to strengthen response for COVID-19
200 high-quality protective face shields have been provided to Stanley Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai by the college
The faculty and students from SSN College of Engineering have developed 3D printable protective face shields for frontline healthcare workers to safeguard them in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. The first set of 100 face shields each have been delivered to Stanley Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai.
A team of three faculty members Dr Kavitha A, Dr Pravin Kumar S and Nithya R along with three undergraduate students Sandhanakrishnan R, Kesavaraj V and Rajkumar AJ from the department of Biomedical Engineering have developed the face shields. The shields are worn over masks and cover the entire face and neck to avoid direct contact with the virus.
Taking lead from Prusa, a 3D printing company based in Prague, Czech Republic, the face shields developed by the team from SSN College have been further modified the design based on doctor's suggestions. These transparent face shields are biocompatible and made of medical-grade 0.4 mm thick APET sheets (Amorphous-PolyEthylene Terephthalate, thermal plastic and part of the polyester product family). It accommodates bigger respirators and larger goggles. Moreover, the shields can be reused after proper sterilisation and do not cause skin irritation, infection or other health problems to doctors, when used for extended hours.
Dr. Gowrishankar from the COVID-19 isolation ward at Stanley Medical College said, We appreciate efforts of the team from SSN College for their timely initiative and action. Since the material used is of medical-grade it is wrinkle-free, biocompatible and sterilizable. These face shields are comfortable and very protective while treating COVID-19 patients.
In these unprecedented times, there is a massive demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The ordinary surgical masks do not give adequate protection against the highly contagious corona virus to frontline healthcare workers, while the N95 masks which can filter out the virus particles, cannot be cleaned or disinfected after use. Therefore, a face shield that provides full-face coverage and allows re-usage after being thoroughly disinfected is the need of the hour.